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Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos,

Canales y Puertos.

Comparison between Midas Civil 2016 v2.2 and

The Standard API 2Geo in the Calculation Method of the
Spring Stiffness K for Pile Foundation

Author: Cao Anh Vu

Santander, June 2017

Table of Contents
1 The calculating method for calculating the K value (Spring stiffness) in API 2Geo Standard
2 The calculating method in Midas Software ........................................................................ 8
3 Compare the main steps/stages between 2 method ....................................................... 12

1 The calculating method for calculating the K value (Spring stiffness) in
API 2Geo Standard
Based on the recommendation of the designer, we (the GITECO Comp.’s engineers)
search for the Chapter 8 in API 2Geo Standard which is “Pile foundation design” in order to
find the essential method to calculate/modeling the steel pile in Midas Civil software.

In chapter 8.5: Soil reaction for piles under lateral loads, the method of the p-y curve
has been recommended for non-linear soil parameter. Besides, there is a variety of method
for calculating such as Terzaghi (1955); Reese and Matlock, 1956; and Davisson and Gill, 1963;
Davisson and Gill (1963); Vesic (1961), etc.

The p-y curves of the soil have been developed based on the back analysis of full
scale lateral pile load test. This concept was first developed by McClelland and Focht (1958).
Nowadays, most of these p-y curves have been incorporated in the commercial programs in
analyzing the behavior of laterally loaded pile, such as COM624P (Wang and Reese, 1993),
LPILE (Reese et al., 2000), and FLPIER (University of Florida, 1996), Midas Software (v2.2-
2016), etc.
In API 2Geo, it introduced the equations for each type of soil: Soft clay (Chapter-
8.5.2 and Chapter-8.5.3), Stiff clay (Chapter-8.5.4 and Chapter-8.5.5) and Sand (Chapter-
8.5.6 and Chapter-8.5.7). The picture below show the noticeable of each equation in API
2Geo Recommendation:

- Horizontal load and behavior of the pile: P-y curve

- Vertical load and behavior of the pile: t-z curve for axial shear transfer and pile
displacement, Q-z curve for End bearing resistance-displacement.

2 The calculating method in Midas Software
By looking into the manual of Midas software, the details of calculating method for
pile is founded (

As can be seen from the manual, the program uses the P-y curve to calculate the non-
linear elastic spring stiffness which is the best method so far. This is the noticeable information
that we could obtain from the manual:

- The Horizontal Spring stiffness: P-y curve

- The Vertical Spring stiffness:

- The data needed to be inputed to Midas software:
Soil Type: Sand or Clay.
Ground level: inside the model, we decided the ground level at 0 meters.
Pile Diameter: 2.5; 2.45; etc. Based on the report of pile design.
Unit weight of soil: Obtain from the geotechnical report.
Earth Pressure Coefficient at Rest: normally choose 0.4 (API Recommendation).
The coefficient of Subgrade Reaction (Kh): Have to calculate by hand in excel for each
layer, because the program calculates this value is linear which is simplified way.
Another parameter: Obtain from the geotechnical report. Input directly to software.

3 Compare the main steps/stages between 2 method
Midas API

Horizontal P-y Curve (Non-linear)

Vertical Simplified linear model with T-z, Q-z curve with non-
the pre-calculation of linear value.
Coefficient of subgrade
reaction (Kh).

With the modeling process to have the behavior of the structure taking into account
the reaction between soil-pile-jacket-tower, Midas Civil software is one of the powerful tools
to obtain that result in the fast, easy to control. Furthermore, the diameter and geometry of
the pile, as well as the jacket structure, had been already calculated, there is not a necessary
task to use the T-z and Q-z curve. Based on the geotechnical report and the information we
have, Midas Civil software will handle the task perfectly.
Further development: Could apply T-z and Q-z for full development of the structure.